Delaware River Port Authority postpones scheduled toll hike on area bridges

Benjamin Franklin Bridge
A view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Camden waterfront as seen from Philadelphia. Photo credit Eileen Blass/USA Today

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — You won’t have to pay more on any of the Delaware River Port Authority’s bridges next year. An automatic rate hike has been given a deep freeze.

The DRPA board unanimously approved a resolution to postpone a set toll increase on the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges until at least 2022.

“The good news is we’re going to break even without a toll increase,” said DRPA CEO John Hanson. “Because DRPA and PATCO have worked so hard to create a strong financial position, we have substantial reserves in excess of $400 million,” which Hanson said will carry them through for about a year or two.

This move marks the 10th year DRPA has gone without a toll hike on its four bridges. This is the fifth time the board has postponed an automatic increase.

The board also approved a reduction in the 2021 annual operating budget, based on lower traffic and PATCO ridership caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We expect to just finish the year in the black to the tune of about $1.5 million, based on our budgeted revenues and budgeted expenses,” Hanson added. “We are committed to serving the region. Our mission and vision statement is based on the ideas of stewardship of assets that are owned by the people of the region and our service to them.”